Dee Lavigne started cooking at age 7 and she later attended the Culinary Institute of America.
Lavigne co-hosts “Lena Richard’s New Orleans Cook Book: A Groundbreaking Story of Innovation and Resilience,” which is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s three-part Cooking Up History series. Born in 1892, Richard was a Black woman chef and entrepreneur who owned two restaurants, authored a 1939 cookbook on Creole food, started a frozen food company and hosted twice weekly morning cooking segments on WDSU-TV in 1949, a decade before Julia Child hit the air.
The seminar features Lavigne cooking one of Richard’s dishes and historian Ashley Rose Young, who is writing a book about Richard. The in-person portion is open to SoFAB members, and the program is available online via the Smithsonian (find the link at the SoFAB website) at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5.
Women entrepreneurs: Continuing a legacy, creating new opportunities
March 22, 2023
By last year, Chef Dwynesha “Dee” Lavigne, a lifelong cook, was already a well-established culinary presence in New Orleans. She had worked in the industry for years, owned a pastry business and hosted a periodic cooking segment on WWL-TV.
Chef Dee Lavigne is following in Chef Lena Richard's footsteps
December 22, 2022
In February of 2022, Chef Dwynesha “Dee” Lavigne founded Deelightful Roux School of Cooking, following in the footsteps of her heroine, the late Chef Lena Richard. It’s been over eighty years since a Black woman has owned a cooking school in New Orleans, ever since Richard closed hers—the first—to pursue opportunities in New York City in the 1940s.
Meet the chef behind NOLAs’ African American-owned cooking school
September 26, 2022
Chef Dee Lavigne learned to cook at the age of seven. After a brief career in accountancy, she decided to ditch the world of spreadsheets and focus on her true passion: food. Now she runs the first African American-owned cooking school New Orleans has seen in over 80 years, whipping up Cajun and Creole classics for hungry travellers.
The Black Creole Chef Who Paved the Way for Food TV
May 19, 2022
A belated celebration of Lena Richard. In 1949 — more than a decade before Julia Child’s television debut — a boisterous Creole chef put on a cook’s uniform and made history.
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